It's Cooking Time!
At first a caveat, this Farmer is certainly not a professional chef. However, I enjoy moving around in the kitchen, cooking food and putting satisfied smiles on friends and family who come around to share a meal. So over the course of the season, I will share my insights on how to interact with the variety of foods we offer up in the CSA box. But there are many ways to approach cooking, and I encourage you all to share your thoughts and experience as well.
That being said, let's dive into my first topic of choice for the season... the sautee' green.
Many of these sautee' greens are packed with vitamins and minerals of all sorts, and they are a great way to add nutrition into the diet. Of course, cooking greens will definitely reduce their vitamin content as vitamins are destroyed by heat (one reason to enjoy them in their raw form at times), but it does not effect their mineral content, and can actually enhance the absorbability of minerals.
However, I commonly have people ask, “but what do I DO with Kale?”
.. and my response is, “EVERYTHING!”
While sometimes I will indeed seek out recipes that are formed around specific sautee' greens, but more often I think of sautee' greens as an extra ingredient I add into many typical meals I will throw together. I love my egg bakes (basically a quiche without worrying about a crust) and I will definitely incorporate any of the sautee greens into egg bakes. Or even simple scrambled eggs in the morning I will start off with some onions, garlic, sautee greens of choice and then scramble eggs into them. Lasagna and spaghetti are both great for adding sautee' greens into. Breaking out the grill for a bbq? Wow your friends and family with grilled kale. Just brush the kale with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until slightly crisped/blackened. Yummy!!
This is especially important if you know you will have a hard time using your sautee greens for the week due to vacations, work schedule, etc. I suggest you make time to do this real quick within the first couple days after receiving your CSA Share as it best to freeze these greens when they are as fresh as possible.
The basic process is to blanch the greens in boiling water very briefly, throw them into ice water, then pack them and freeze them. I personally like to pack the greens into recipe sized units, so I don't have to thaw out a large bag at once. I do this with muffin tins which I pack the greens into, let them freeze, then pop them out as ½ cup portion sizes.
Here is a link that describes the process very succinctly. They don't use muffin tins, rather form them into fist-sized shaped balls... whichever way works!
Finally, a few simple recipe ideas for the week...
Heat oven to 400 deg. Oil deep pie pan or simply prepare in a cast iron skillet (my personal fave) which then goes direct into oven. Heat oil in skillet at medium-high eat, sautee onions until soft, add garlic and pepper, cook for additional 1 minute. Add chopped spinach. Sautee until spinach is wilted. Beat eggs and milk in separate bowl. Mix in cheese, salt and black pepper, stir, then pour into cast iron skillet or add all ingredients into oiled pie pan. If you want, you can sprinkle some paprika on top, or throw it in the oven as is! Bake 30 - 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of dish comes out clean. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
(Serve atop a bed of the Rainbow Salad Mix to add some fresh greens to the meal)
A Kohlrabi Tip:
Many people don't know what to make of kohlrabi, but this Farmer absolutely loves the crisp crunch that kohlrabi brings. And to boot, it actually packs more Vitamin C than the equivalent amount of Orange Juice!
My personal favorite is to peel the kohlrabi, chop it into slices, lay them on a plate, squeeze lime juice over them and sprinkle with sea salt. They make a great little appetizer or afternoon snack this way. Or chop them into a salad for a bit of crunch..